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Illinois-Chicago

budget woes...advice/input please!

We are working on creating our budget and we're finding that the Budget Calculator seems a little off (or maybe we are) on some things.

How much did people (who didn't go overboard) spend on flowers and cake? 

Any good ideas of how to cut down on these costs? 

Re: budget woes...advice/input please!

  • MsBunny312MsBunny312 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I wouldn't go by The Knot's calculator. It does not know where your priorities lie so it distributes the money in a very generic way. With your fiance, figure out what is important and what isn't. Then make your budget according to that.

    You could always buy flowers wholesale and then DIY them. But make sure you practic in advice if you take this route.

    In regard to cakes, if you don't mind a sheet cake, you can find much better prices. Some couples get cakes at Whole Foods or another grocery store to save money.
  • edited December 2011
    i just had this converstion with a married friend this evening.  she said that the know was a good starting point but then you need to decide on your own what you are willing to spend on each option.  we are willing to spend a little more on our reception bacause we don't plan on spending as much on our dj and photograhper (we feel like we have gotten good deals and both) and we aren't spending any money on "beauty" since i work in the industry.  so  the knot is a good start but then you have to figure out the reality yourself.
  • edited December 2011
    Cake was included in our per person price thru the caterer, but we are semi DIYing our flowers.  We are only using flowers for bouquets (10), bouts (22), and corsages (3)-no centerpieces or anything else with flowers.  I am ordering from fiftyflowers.com and paying a friend who is a florist $100 to put them together for me.  Our budget is $571.  This saved us at least a thousand on the flowers. 

    Yes, the Knots budget calculator is flawed.
  • morgie44morgie44 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I really like the budget calculator on Wedding Wire, but in general we set our budget and then allocated what we should spend on everything based on percentages that I got from MS weddings:
    50% to Reception Expenses & Ceremony
    10% Photo/Video
    10% Apparel
    10% Music
    10% Flowers/Decor
    5% Transportation
    5% Miscellaneous (invitations, bridal party gifts, hair and makeup etc.) 

    We then fudged with those numbers to get what we wanted in areas that were important to us (photography) and reduced the areas that were less important.  For example, our overall budget was somewhere around 25K.  That gaves us 2500 for music, we wanted a DJ, so we knew that wouldn't cost 2500, so we put the rest of that money towards bumping up the photography budget.  I think that it worked really well for us and we came in right around those precentages, though might have gone a little over in Miscellaneous, we were under in photography/video so it balanced and we ended up slightly under budget.
  • Sparkle1985Sparkle1985 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Yeah I've just kind of figured this out for myself as well.  Any type of budget gadget on any of these websites are a good way to start out.  And when I was just starting to plan.. it gave me alot of good insight at to what i "should be" spending.  But there are many things to consider.. our ceremony and reception are at the same place.. so we don't need to budget for transportation.  We decided to not use a videographer so we don't need to budget for that either.  As you go along you will find that there are things you need and/or dont need.  You will also decide if certain things are more important than others.   
  • Golfer09Golfer09 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I paid $400 for my cake (fed over 110) and about $2000 for flowers which included all personal flowers, ceremony flowers, and table centerpieces.  My wedding was on a holiday so I paid holiday rates for delivery and cleanup.
    Our wedding SDE: Our wedding Feature: PW=demo
  • Jami86eJami86e member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    we are getting our cake from the baking institute in wheeling. they charge $2 a slice (some places charge up to $5 a slice) and their cakes are really good. we are charged an extra $1 per slice cutting fee because we are not using the bakery that the hotel wanted us to use. the bakery they wanted us to use was $3 a slice, so the same total, but they charge for a cake tasting, wheras the baking instute had a free tasting, so the charging for a tasting was a deal breaker. the baking instute is by far the cheapest i have seen, plus their cakes taste really good. our cake has a lemon custard filling and the lemon is made from real lemon, not from artificial flavours. we could definitely taste a difference in that.

    as far as flowers go, my fiancée's parents are paying for one thing and that is flowers. even though their daughter is a florist and seh said you should be spending $2000 on flowers, they are giving us $1500 for flowers. we are using town and country gardens and i told them up front that our budget is $1500 and she is able to give us everythign we want within that budget, inlcuding $125 delivery fee (this is for a jewish wedding so what i need is going to be more than someone who isn't having a jewish wedding). plus everything she does looks so different than the other florists i looked at. it doesn't remind me of easter like everyone else did. and her arrangements are so beautiful
    Visit Jewish.weddings.com Wedding Countdown Ticker
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